Request to Refrain from Attempts to Curtail Freedom of the Press and Expression

The incident of Kailash Sirohiya, the publisher of Kantipur daily, being arrested from Thapathali office and taking him to Janakpur by road overnight seems to be a planned attempt to prevent the mass media from operating fearlessly.
Even though Sirohiya was said to be arrested for an investigation regarding citizenship, the publisher of the prestigious media group has been arrested without any prior investigation and at a time when the Kantipur Media Group had been serially publishing and broadcasting critical material regarding the controversial involvement of the Home Minister with the cooperatives.

Therefore, we see that the arrest of Sirohiya was not due to citizenship-related charges but was instead an act of retaliation against the background of the attempts of authoritarian practices from within the democracy in various periods of Nepali history.  It cannot be denied that this behavior of the government towards a media outlet with freedom of expression will impact other mass media in the nation.

Therefore, we alert the government to ensure that no attempt is made to shrink the democratic sphere and freedom of expression and press under any pretext.

Kundan Aryal

Dr. Kundan Aryal
Chairperson, INSEC